Monday, February 2, 2009


The Meaning of Life Explained.

Many things in our universe only co-exist. For example, when you pull on a rope, it gets longer and thinner. Tension and compression only co-exist. In other words, you can't have tension where compression does not occur.

Another example is convex and concave. You can't have one without the other.

Concave and Convex by M.C. Escher

A third example is expansion and contraction. When a balloon expands, it causes the air outside of it to contract. Expansion and contraction only co-exist.

The yin-yang symbol is one way of symbolising the world as a place where opposites always and only co-exist.

We live in an expanding universe.

The process by which the universe expands and becomes less ordered and more random is called entropy.

If the world is a play on opposites, what is the contracting and order creating force that counterbalances the expanding entropic universe? What is playing the role of the anti-entropy? Since the universe is everywhere, we should be able to see it everywhere! Where is it?

Look in the mirror - It's You!

The physical is inherently entropic, giving off energy in ever more disorderly ways. The metaphysical is antientropic, methodically marshalling energy. Life is antientropic. - R. Buckminster Fuller

In other words, it is lifeforms in general and the mind of man in particular that are the anti-entropic force in the universe. As humans we organize things both mental and physical, thereby contracting energy and creating order to counter-balance the expanding entropy of the universe. This is the supremely important purpose of intelligence and the reason why our minds exist.

Whenever we think, or act to create order in the physical world based upon whatever we think, we are performing the anti-entropic function without which the universe would not be in balance. That is our purpose in life and why we exist - to think and thereby to create mental and physical order - because that is how we carry out our all important function and essential contribution to the universe.

Therefore we are pretty damn important, we humans.

Our minds hold up the sky.


Thinker said...

Amazing Tom, this post is one of the most profound things I have ever read. You have defined the meaning of life without relying on any religion while still making humanity seem important and dignified. Philosophers have strove for centuries to say what you have done in just a few lines.

Anonymous said...

Despite vehement claims to the contrary, life's Meaning is not conferred by God, culture, or any outer influence. If it exists, it's confined to individuals' inner constructs.

In 1948, Bucky Fuller and Norbert Wiener independently identified anti-entropy as a Function, no different from gravity, in principle. It's a profound function however, in contrast to all others that apply to non-living materials, only. The Universe 'runs down' but life 'runs up,' gaining in complexity/diversity; a counter-current against what constrains the rest of this Universe, condemning it to an apparently inevitable 'heat death.' On Earth, the leading edge of this counter-current is Humanity; elsewhere, it may be other life-forms. But Life leads. We should view it as a Function, with respect and wonder, but not with a vain projection of human heritage, dignity, or Meaning.

Tom said...

You are wise and insightful Joe, although heritage, dignity and Meaning are useful in a human context because we are human. We fulfill our function in universe better if we encourage those values.